Bid to clear Keratea roadblock fails

Lavriou Avenue, which links Athens to the port of Lavrio southeast of the capital, continued to be closed for a second day on Tuesday after landfill protesters stopped an effort to remove the rubble that has been dumped in the road.

The Transport and Infrastructure Ministry, which is responsible for maintaining the road, attempted early on Tuesday to clear the rubble dumped by Keratea residents protesting the construction of a landfill by sending a bulldozer. But the vehicle?s driver was attacked by protestors and the effort was abandoned.

One of the ministry?s general secretaries, Yiannis Economidis, told Skai Radio that a police escort had been arranged for the driver but that he arrived half an hour earlier and was set upon by locals, who sprayed pepper spray in his face and set fire to the bulldozer.

Economidis said that another effort to clear the road would be made on Tuesday although he added that the ministry was finding it difficult to convince other drivers to take on the job of clearing the rubble.

The rubble was placed on the road, which links Athens with Lavrio, on Monday morning and residents say they will not remove the impromptu roadblock until they are satisfied with the answers they get from the government. The blockade has forced cars heading to and from Lavrio onto small side roads.

In an interview with Sunday?s Kathimerini, Interior Minister Yiannis Ragousis said that the construction of the landfill would go ahead despite the residents? protests.

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